Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm FrontStorm Front
by Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2000
E-book, Library
322 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Harry Dresden — Wizard

Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or
Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed

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I don’t want to live in a world where the strong rule and the weak cower. I’d rather make a place where things are a little quieter. Where trolls stay the hell under their bridges and where elves don’t come swooping out to snatch children from their cradles. Where vampires respect the limits, and where the faeries mind their p’s and q’s. My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. When things get strange, when what goes bump in the night flicks on the lights, when no one else can help you, give me a call. I’m in the book.

What I like about this book:

  • Harry is a great character. He’s a wisecracking, irreverant private detective/wizard. (“I’d made the vampire cry. Great. I felt like a real superhero. Harry Dresden, breaker of monsters’ hearts.”)
  • Lt. Karrin Murphy, Gentleman Johnny Marcone and Toot-toot are well-developed characters even in this first book. They have distinct personalities.
  • The book is set in Chicago where I’ve spent a lot of time over the years.
  • The ironic and wry way the author writes. He shows the ironic even in dire circumstances.
  • The world building is interesting. For example, a wizard can gaze into a person’s eyes and see their soul. The other person can also see into the wizard’s soul…a disturbing experience especially for the nonwizard.

What I don’t like:

  • The book starts a little slow.

Interesting Detail:

  • The book was published in 2000. Amazing to think how much has changed: film and cameras using film are important in the story, but now 13 years later we don’t use film at all.

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My thoughts: This is a good start to the series. The characters are introduced and I got a good feel for them. Since I’ve read the fourth and fifth books in the series I know some of the recurring characters who show up in this first book. It’s also good to get some of the back story for Harry and some of the other characters. A good start to the series even if I did find the book a little slow at first.

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What do you think? Have you read any of this series?